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irregular times clockThe Republicans, At It Again

The campaign to re-elect George W. Bush is at it again.

In an e-mail to the Bush faithful, the Bush-Cheney team writes of George Soros that "the Wall
Street Journal says that he sees 'America as the gravest threat to world freedom.'"

Wow! George Soros sees America as the gravest threat to world freedom? Wow. I mean, it's a quote, right?

No. The unnamed authors of this hack-email pull a fast one here. See, the quotes around "America as the gravest threat to world freedom" refer to the Wall Street Journal, not to George Soros. The Wall Street Journal of November 10, 2003 reads as follows:

More recently, since September 11, Mr. Soros has made it his goal to burst what he has called "the bubble of America supremacy." He has said that having helped to liberate Communist countries, he now views America as the gravest threat to world freedom. In the Financial Times in March, he wrote that Mr. [Bush] "deliberately fosters fear because it helps to keep the nation lined up behind the president."

See, the Wall Street Journal doesn't quote George Soros as stating the phrase "America as the gravest threat to world freedom." But the Bush-Cheney campaign uses the quotes to make it appear that George Soros said it. The truth is, I cannot find a single reference to George Soros referring to "America as the gravest threat to world freedom" on Google, Google News or the entire Lexis-Nexis archive of news transcripts, world news, U.S. newspapers, magazines, or abstracts.

That's because, of course, George Soros didn't say these words. The Wall Street Journal Editorial staff said them.

And now conservative stooges like Michael Costello continue to spread this piece of falsehood, embellishing it even further in posts like these:

George Soros, currency trader and destroyer of nations, has chosen his man - Howard Dean - as the best candidate to advance his cause of bursting "the bubble of American supremacy."

He believes that America represents the " the gravest threat to world freedom."

Michael Costello's concoction is further distanced from reality, making no reference to the Wall Street Journal but instead generating a sentence that can only be interpreted as a false reference to the direct words of George Soros.

So hey, conservatives, if you are going to insult George Soros, who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance of mine, at least bother to look up the original source before you do. This makes you look really ignorant, and I'm inclined to disbelieve the rest of what you write.

But wait! There's more!
I could stop there. But there's more to bother about in this whole affair. There's the whole "bubble of American supremacy" quote.

Does George Soros really want to burst "the bubble of American Supremacy?"

Gosh, the Wall Street Journal sure makes it look like he does. But the handily anonymous editorial staff doesn't include the verb "burst" in their quote, do they? The quote is the title of an editorial Soros wrote for The Korea Herald, the text of which closely follows an editorial Soros wrote for the Financial Times (that's the editorial the Wall Street Journal refers to in the quote [of the WSJ! Not Soros!] above).

What does Soros say in these editorials? Well, follow that link and read his words yourself. He worries about the possibility that George W. Bush is, in his hyperbolic approach, inflating a bubble of false expectations that will inevitably burst, causing great harm as a result. Let me, you know, directly quote Soros:

"In a boom-bust process, passing an early test tends to reinforce the misconception that has given rise to it. That could happen here.

It is not too late to prevent the boom-bust process from getting out of hand." (Source: Financial Times of London March 13, 2003)

See? Soros said he wants to prevent the whole boom-bust thing. The Wall Street Journal editorial staff is twisting and spinning like a hyperkinetic D.J. to make it appear that the opposite is true.

So let's review:
  1. The quoted words of George Soros? Soros didn't say them.
  2. In teeny tiny words, Soros no want bust bubble. Soros want bubble not bust!
  3. Oooga! Booga! Ug Mug! (perhaps the conservative blogosphere will understand this phrasing.)

Am I surprised that the campaign of George W. Bush and its ally in the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board would stoop to misrepresenting the truth? Of course not. And that's another reason to boot Bush in 2004.

Reflect upon the Ribald Reign of King George the Second
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